Thursday, April 16, 2015 06:00 AM


While the big venues have never had a complete lockdown on outdoor music in the Triangle, for many years the action was centered around a few hubs. Walnut Creek, Booth Amphitheatre and the N.C. Museum of Art accounted for a sizable majority of outdoor concerts.

Nowadays, however, those large-scale venues are a sliver of the market, and not just because of the addition of downtown Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater. Every April through October, there are multiple festivals like Art of Cool and Hopscotch; outdoor one-offs, from the Rolling Stones playing N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium to more than a dozen acts playing Deep South Street Festival on downtown Raleigh’s Cabarrus Street; and a bumper crop of free series at Central Park and American Tobacco in Durham, North Hills and City Plaza in Raleigh, The Plaza in Chapel Hill and other spaces throughout the Triangle.

A lot of the big shows are pricey, especially the Stones and some of the Walnut Creek headliners. But much of what’s on the schedule is free.

The 2015 outdoor season has its unofficial start this weekend with Shakori Hills Spring GrassRoots Festival; Love Language, Mac McCaughan and others playing free at Durham Central Park; and downtown Raleigh’s ’Cuegrass Festival ...

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See also: Wake Opthalmology